Home / Business / Instabridge, the Wi-Fi sharing community, scores $3M more funding for Asia expansion

Instabridge, the Wi-Fi sharing community, scores $3M more funding for Asia expansion

Sweden’s Instabridge, the Wi-Fi sharing community and mobile app that has proved particularly popular in Brazil and Mexico, has scored $3 million in further funding — money it’s pegged for Asia expansion, starting with India.

The new round is led by Luminar Ventures (headed up by Magnus Bergman and Jacob Key), with participation from previous backers Balderton Capital, Draper Associates, Moor, and Creandum. The company had previously raised around $5 million.

Originally founded in late 2012 as a way to enable you to share your home Wi-Fi with friends on Facebook, the Stockholm-based company has since pivoted to become a broader Wi-Fi sharing community, and has found traction in developing markets where cellular data remains prohibitively expensive.

The Instabridge app lets you share the details of any Wi-Fi hotspot with other Instabridge users, and provides access to Wi-Fi hotspots shared by everyone else in the community. This has enabled it to build a crowdsourced database of Wi-Fi hotspots, in addition to a list of known public venues that have free Wi-Fi, such as McDonald’s or Starbucks.

Instabridge says it plans to build on the traction it has seen in South America by targeting India’s population of over 1 billion people, of which it says only 400 million currently have internet access. This, Instabridge co-founder Niklas Agevik tells me, will include building out a team in India, and plays into the company’s new-found mission of expanding internet access in developing countries where internet services remain relatively expensive and yet access to the internet is a proven means of “reducing income inequality”.

Meanwhile, I’m told that Instabridge is now seeing 2.3 million Monthly Active Users, and is growing at a rate of 50,000 new users per day. The Instabridge database now houses the details of 2 million Wi-Fi spots.

Check Also

Hong Kong’s GoGoVan raises $250M from investors including Alibaba’s logistics subsidiary

Logistics on-demand service GoGoVan became Hong Kong’s first billion-dollar startup via a merger last year, and now is doubling down on growth after raising $250 million in new capital. The new round was led by InnoVision Capital, with participation from the Russia-China Investment Fund, Hongrun Capital and Qianhai Fund of Funds. Two other notable investors include Alibaba’s Cainiao logistics subsidiary — Alibaba is already an investor via its Hong Kong entrepreneurship fund — and 58 Daojia Group, the parent of the ’58 Suyun’ business that merged with GoGoVan. There’s more capital coming soon it seems, with GoGoVan saying in an announcement that the $250 million is “the first phase of its new round of funding.” Despite reaching unicorn status via the merger, GoGoVan didn’t disclose a valuation for this new round. The company plans to use the money to expand its business into new markets, and in particular India and Southeast Asia, having focused on China primarily to date. Together with 58 Suyun, GoGoVan claims to cover 300 cities with some eight million registered users and 2,000 staff. The service itself is anchored around short distance logistics and trips, but GoGoVan CEO Steven Lam explained that the company plans to soon introduce a door-to-door option and other offerings that “simplify logistics and delivery services.” GoGoVan’s main rival is Lalamove, a fellow Hong Kong-based logistics startup. Lalamove raised $100 million last year at a valuation of nearly $1 billion. While GoGoVan’s exit was its merger, Lalamove is looking to remain independent and it has begun thinking about an IPO, which could take place in Hong Kong, its head of international Blake Larson told TechCrunch. GoGoVan and Lalamove are two of the last that remain standing from what was once a very cluttered field as the rise of Uber saw dozens of companies sprout up as an ‘Uber for logistics’ services. The secret to their survival? Getting deep into the Chinese market is one crucial factor, but from talking to the two companies over the years, both cast the ‘Uber for X’ buzzword aside and concentrated on working with SMEs and repeat business customers rather than the shallow (and fickle) consumer market. Uber’s Cargo service, for example, offered on-demand logistics in Hong Kong but it didn’t live long before being shuttered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Trading in bitcoins or other digital currencies carries a high level of risk and can result in the total loss of the invested capital. theonlinetech.org does not provide investment advice, but only reflects its own opinion. Please ensure that if you trade or invest in bitcoins or other digital currencies (for example, investing in cloud mining services) you fully understand the risks involved! Please also note that some external links are affiliate links.